SGA discusses plans for cultural competency in departments

Sylvia Spears, vice president for diversity and inclusion, and Robert Amelio, director for diversity and inclusive excellence, spoke at the Student Government Association’s weekly meeting on Sept. 15 to address last spring’s student demonstration for cultural competency and to explain the faculty and administrative response over the summer. 

Among the presented follow-up efforts was a forum for staff to better understand the demonstration, a session to brainstorm actions staff could take to better support students, and two sessions of a Summer Learning Series on intercultural communication and fluency. They also expanded the Inclusive Excellence Faculty Fellows Program to two sessions, which 80 full- and part-time faculty have participated in over the past three years. The program helps faculty develop methods to approach issues of diversity in a college environment.

Still, members of SGA expressed apprehension at how much progress had been made.

“There is no trust between students and faculty right now,” Victoria Loubert, a visual and media arts major and the class of 2016 senator, said. 

Two positions were also filled during the meeting. Lauren Lewis, a junior marketing communication major, was appointed to the position of executive secretary. Jess Guida, a freshman journalism major, was appointed to the position of public relations chair. Both were voted in unanimously.